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I am having a issue with spliting face frames when using Kreg screws.  I am using 1x2 oak and a 1 1/4 inch fine thread screw like the chart says.  Any ideas what I am doing wrong?  I am considering going to a 1 inch screw or changing the depth.

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Depends on the quality of the MDF, some are pretty dense, I would predrill to be sure it works, I do not like using plywood or MDF, because of the heaviness of the non wood components. I would use shiplap or matched pine boards as an alternative and use 1x2's to give the panels extra support when needed. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but works for me.
I had this problem when I first got my kreg jig as well.  After much frustration, I was at a wood working show and mark Eaton from Kreg was there.  After about a 10 min conversation, we discovered my problem.  I was using a Dewalt impact driver.  The problem is that the Kreg screws are self drilling and do not work with an impact driver.  When I got home and tried with my drill on a low torc rather than my driver, everything worked perfectly.
I have always had good results with the Kreg Jig. The only problem is that I bought the Jr. Jig and really need the next model up. Soon, hope to upgrade to the better model.

I am glad to learn that I am not the only one with a similar problem.  I did something unusal for me.  I read all the instructions and watched the videos available for the product prior to using the new tool.  I started with yellow pine and the coarse 1 1/4" screws.  I ran two screws in with no problem (I had already drilled all pilot holes).  I moved to the other end of the piece and shot in two more screws and both split the wood.  I decided I had two problems: 1) I was using yellow pine. 2) I measured the wood and it was closer to 1/2" than 3/4".  I scrapped the yellow pine and purchased what appears to be poplar.  I also purchased fine threaded Kreg wood screws 1 1/4" long as indicated in the directions.  I set the collar for 3/4" thick wood as indicated on the base of the clamp (evidently this is to high on the bit per another post, but I followed the manufacturer's directions to the letter).  I drilled all the holes I needed using the Kreg jig.  I used the hand held clamp* and clamped the two pieces together at a 90º and screwed them together using my new Rigid drill/driver with the clutch set rather low to keep from going too deep.  Both screws were good.  I turned the board over, clamped another joint and shot two screws.  Both screws split this end of the board badly.  I rechecked the scews and they were the fine threaded screws.  I was concerned that I might have picked up two of the coarse threaded screws by mistake.  This was not the problem.

 

I received both the Kreg system and the Rigid drill for a Christmas present from my Son and I want it to work.  I must say that I am very disapointed to learn that most of the accessories for the Kreg system are made in Communist Red China.  I can't believe the American Companies design a great product and then send it to China for cheap labor.  I would gladly pay more to have it made in America by Americans.  I guess I am just an old fart (53) with old ideas.  Back to the point... I am very disappointed with the outcome.  I wish I had asked for a biscuit cutter and used it to join the frames.  I know it will work and not split the side of the wood.  It appears to be a fair idea if it would just work.  I am ready to sell it to a friend and try something better.  Maybe I need make a few more attempts.

 

Thank you to everyone for their help, aid and assistance.

 

* I used the same clamp with the yellow pine also. 

May I suggest you check your drill setting -perhaps you have it dialled in too strong.I had this problem initially but once I cranked down the power to screwdriver setting it worked brilliantly in MDF and everything else.

Peter

zencuke said:

I am a new owner of  a Kreg jig and I had exactly the same problem with my first project although my face frames are made of MDF. The splits were enormous, basically the width of the screw shank. I've never had much luck with screwing into MDF without pilot holes. It is pretty rigid and brittle and not very compress-able . I had to get it done so after wasting too much MDF with unproductive experiments I gave up on the Kreg and just clamped and glued the old fashioned way. I was not happy. The Kreg video made it all look so easy and routine. Caveat emptor.

 



Peter Lee said:

May I suggest you check your drill setting -perhaps you have it dialled in too strong.I had this problem initially but once I cranked down the power to screwdriver setting it worked brilliantly in MDF and everything else.

Peter

zencuke said:

I am a new owner of  a Kreg jig and I had exactly the same problem with my first project although my face frames are made of MDF. The splits were enormous, basically the width of the screw shank. I've never had much luck with screwing into MDF without pilot holes. It is pretty rigid and brittle and not very compress-able . I had to get it done so after wasting too much MDF with unproductive experiments I gave up on the Kreg and just clamped and glued the old fashioned way. I was not happy. The Kreg video made it all look so easy and routine. Caveat emptor.

 

i had the same problem. I am frustrated over the screws being made in taiwan, only representing corp greed. At#

Peter Lee said:


Peter Lee said:

May I suggest you check your drill setting -perhaps you have it dialled in too strong.I had this problem initially but once I cranked down the power to screwdriver setting it worked brilliantly in MDF and everything else.

Peter

zencuke said:

I am a new owner of  a Kreg jig and I had exactly the same problem with my first project although my face frames are made of MDF. The splits were enormous, basically the width of the screw shank. I've never had much luck with screwing into MDF without pilot holes. It is pretty rigid and brittle and not very compress-able . I had to get it done so after wasting too much MDF with unproductive experiments I gave up on the Kreg and just clamped and glued the old fashioned way. I was not happy. The Kreg video made it all look so easy and routine. Caveat emptor.

 

It has been too lond since I posted here but here is what I ended up doing to fix it.  I ended up putting the drill up all together and got out a cordless screw driver. When using it the splits subsided greatly.  I still have occasional issue but nothing on the scale of I had before.  Thanks for all the help.  They were all great tips.  I have been away from the shop in school but have starter back on the project and will post pics when I am done.

 

Sounds like to much drill torque in most cases and maybe old "Zencuke" is a bit of a troll. Just saying. 


Better check where most products are made now a days. Craftsman? China. Kobalt? China. All of your eletronics? China or japan or Korea. Lets don't even talk about cars and trucks. Your worried about screws?
joe said:

i had the same problem. I am frustrated over the screws being made in taiwan, only representing corp greed. At#

Peter Lee said:


Peter Lee said:

May I suggest you check your drill setting -perhaps you have it dialled in too strong.I had this problem initially but once I cranked down the power to screwdriver setting it worked brilliantly in MDF and everything else.

Peter

zencuke said:

I am a new owner of  a Kreg jig and I had exactly the same problem with my first project although my face frames are made of MDF. The splits were enormous, basically the width of the screw shank. I've never had much luck with screwing into MDF without pilot holes. It is pretty rigid and brittle and not very compress-able . I had to get it done so after wasting too much MDF with unproductive experiments I gave up on the Kreg and just clamped and glued the old fashioned way. I was not happy. The Kreg video made it all look so easy and routine. Caveat emptor.

 

If you have a high torque drill, you could cause the wood to split. There is usually a setting on the power drill to limit the torque.

I had a horrible time with cherry face frames splitting until I switched to #6 screws rather than the typical #7 screws (fine threads, 1-1/4").  My frames were 1-1/2" x 3/4" thick.  I went from 2 screws to only one in the center of the face frame but still had the stile crack just as the screw tightened enough to close the seam.  It would even crack when I tightened the screw by hand rather than by drill. I tried changing the depth of the Kreg bit but no luck.  Everyone told me I had to be doing something wrong but a guy at Rockler suggested using #6 screws (they sell them by the bag); I did and my troubles were over. 

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